Developmental Biology and Genetics - Course Description

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This block considers the concept of an organism from several perspectives.  Beginning with experimental embryology and Spemann’s Nobel Prize winning experiments, we go on to consider cell-division and cell-differentiation as these appear “in vitro,” within a healthy organism, and in cancer cells.   Thereafter we focus on the development of genetics from Mendel through to the discovery of the “double helix” and the recognition of the central role that DNA and RNA play in protein synthesis.  We conclude with reflections on the human genome project in light of recent discoveries in the area of epigenetics.

Faculty:                     Michael Holdrege, High School Sciences Teacher
Class Dates:           January 6-January 24, 2014
Curriculum Area:   Morning Lesson Block

Welcome to the Chicago Waldorf School classrooms!
This course description page introduces an area of the website that is a communications and resource bulletin for the faculty to share details about their classes and special subjects. This message board is a resource for the teacher to post information and impressions about the progress of the class and the students' activities. Ranging from a broad analysis of the learning goals of the year, to the specifics of a deadline for a homework assignment, you will find information about the activities of this class in these periodically updated posts


Key Words for Block Books    

8 Jan.  Little Miss T. verse.  The mystery: from egg to organism (growth, differentiation, morphogenesis). 
Aristotle--epigenesis; Epicurus--preformation
17th century--preformation; animalculists & ovists.
Early development of the Lancelet zygote. Animal pole, vegetal pole…Morula, Blastula, Gastrula, Neurula. (+Drawings)

9 Jan. Three germ layers.  
Schematic Lancelet body plan
Mosaic and regulation eggs; Spemann Experiments I. - III.
Prospective Outcome.  Prospective Potential.

10 Jan.   Spemann IV.-VI. The Organizer 

13 Jan. Marx, Hoftreter, Schotte & Weiss Experiments.  Weiss quote. 
Drawings of mitosis in a grasshopper.

14 Jan. Microscopes, units of measure etc. Handouts on cells etc. Cell Diagram based on electron microscope. The main organelles.

14 Jan.   Microscopes, units of measure etc. Handouts on cells etc. Cell Diagram based on electron microscope. The main organelles.

15 Jan. Weiss text re. cell and factory  Cell Differentiation diagram (relate to Prospective Potential & Pr. Outcome; relate to humans and animals)

16 Jan.  Salamander leg regeneration. "In vitro" & "in vivo" tissues compared. Cell death and hand development (apoptosis).

17 Jan.    Cancer.  Mendel's findings. His new approach. Phenotype-genotype. Dominant-Recessive

21. Jan. THE SEARCH FOR THE MATERIAL BASIS OF HEREDITY: Cytologists discover Mitosis and Meiosis.  This is linked to Mendel’s work. Genes pictured as pearls on a string.   TH Morgan and Drosophila. Linkage groups, crossing over & chromosome maps.  Polygenic traits (blending) & pleiotropism.

 22. Jan.  Biochemistry joins the search.  Buchner: enzymes as catalysts.  Which is it: protein or nucleic acid?  Hershey and Chase: bacteriophage experiments.  Watson & Crick handout.